“What cannot be doubted is that the power of anti-BQ language quickly morphs, among some, to broader anti-Quebec sentiment,” Wheeldon writes. “This experiment suggests the demonization of the BQ as expressed by our political leaders in 2008 has been internalized by many Conservative supporters. It continues online and may threaten the basis for the reasonable compromises required to govern a diverse country like Canada.”
As I wrote the other day, the scariest thing about a Tory Majority, insofar as it is created by stirring up anti-Quebec sentiment in the way the old Reform Party did to establish a foothold on the prairies, and insofar as it will be driven by that same anger... is that it may literally result in a broken country. Duceppe, Marois and Co. (assuming, as now seems likely, that the latter will become Quebec Premier), will play a merry game of "poke the yokels" to draw an intemperate response. Meanwhile, the Harper Tories have already committed themselves to a series of legislative initiatives that can effortlessly be portrayed as anti-Quebec (ie the whole "Block the Bloc" argument against the vote subsidy, for example.) . Remember, while these guys know how to exploit angry voters, they are not near smart enough to control the fallout.